Ranking The Best Bond Movies: Part 2 (#15-#11)
11) 1987’s The Living Daylights
Timothy Dalton plays Bond as more of a brutish, morally ambiguous man than his predecessors. He’s still capable of the occasional feat of strength, but in general, he’s subject to the same limitations the rest of us are. He’s almost entirely without humor, and he rocks the serious eyes far too often. In 1987, however, he was exactly what the Bond franchise needed.
Whether you’re a fan of Roger Moore or not, his era needed to end, and what the series needed more than anything else was a serious tone. Bond needed to turn back into more of a fighter than a superhero, and The Living Daylights offers him that opportunity. The film opens with a fast-paced, well-designed paintball match that suddenly gets real serious, and it continues with a chess match of double crosses between two Soviet Generals, an American arms dealer and Bond. There’s political intrigue, a beautiful cellist and even Afghan freedom fighters.
Some of the fights are among the best ever shot in the Bond canon. People’s faces get burned, pots filled with scolding water are thrown, and it actually takes multiple punches to knock people out. It’s such a nice change-up. In addition, Caroline Bliss’ Miss Moneypenny is also smoking hot, and the henchmen Necros is among the most menacing and competent we’ve ever seen.
I get why casual fans aren’t overly excited about Dalton, but The Living Daylights is actually pretty damn good.
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